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Weekend Early Start

News/Business. Randi Kaye. The day's top news and events. New.

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Us 13, Michigan 8, Curtis Butler 5, U.s. 5, Cnn 5, Chavez 4, Hugo Chavez 4, Jerry Brown 4, Nasal 4, Washington 4, Dallas 4, Atlanta 4, Brent 3, Schwab Bank 3, Fbi 3, Georgia 3, South Africa 3, Abu Ahmed 2, Nadia 2, Mort Waitzman 2,
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  CNN    Weekend Early Start    News/Business. Randi Kaye. The  
   day's top news and events. New.  

    December 9, 2012
    3:00 - 4:00am PST  

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from cnn headquarters in atlanta, this is early start. great to see you. he says he's sick again, but this time hugo chavez makes a shocking admission. plus this. our officers on scene faeel
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as if alcohol was a contributing factor to. >> a dallas cowboy is dead and the driver under arrest. listen to this. god blesses us so why can't we bless other people. >> he returned from the battlefield broken homeless, but things have changed for this iraq war vet. now he's giving back one blessing at a time. you've got to see that. it's december 9, 2012. good morning. i'm susan hendricks in for randi kaye. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com we begin with a developing story, venezuelan president hugo chavez telling the world his cancer is back it's shown up in the same affected area. we have had to look at the diagnostics and check with with a expert and dehave decided it
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is absolutely essential and necessary to undergo another surgery. >> chavez also spoke publicly about a sec sayser for a first time saying his vice president should replace him if he now worsens. we now go to cubic where patrick joins us. good morning. >> good morning. it was a stunning announcement. it could have major impact on this country as well. since we were told when chavez had been reelected he stated consistently he had been cured of cancer. at that point he had suffered two bouts of cancer and had been cured after months and months of treatment here in cuba.
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he said again and again he was cured. that was not the case. the cancer has come back. he said he would require immediate surgery but he was preparing the country, perhaps the world life after hugo chavez. he's designated his vice president to be his successor, ending months of speculation about who would replace him. and really as only hugo chavez can addressed directly the venezuelan people and in many respects with sort of saying, good-bye, if i don't make it, this is what my wishes are. we're waiting today for the venezuel venezuelan. we would expect he would undergo surgery shortly after he arrives. >> you mentioned he was announcing his possible
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successor. why would he have to bring it up. wouldn't it be a given that it would be the vp? >> it's more for his party than it would be the line of succession. there was so much speculation as to who would follow him. if he were to be incapacitated, there would have to be another election. it's not like the united states where the vice president takes the role. there would be an election. he said last night in no uncertain person that person would be nick lal holas. >> all right, patrick ottmann, thank you. appreciate it. live from havana. shifting gears. dallas cowboy linebacker jerry brown has been killed in car
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accident. he was in a car driven by brent. this comes as we get surveillance video of kansas city player jovan belcher. he made heldlines last beak after killing his girlfriend and then himself. i want to bring in joe carter. joe, let's bring in the dallas cowboys. what more do we know about the tragic accident? sniet obviously happened early saturday morning around 2:30 a.m. josh driving the vehicle. his teammate and roommate was in the passenger seat. he was traveling well above the posted speed limit, which was 45 miles an hour. it hit the curb, flipped over it its top and the police say it slid about 900 feet. they arrested 24-year-old josh brent. one count of intoxicated manslaughter and they obviously
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pronounced jerry brown jr. dead at the hospital a little later. we have a statement or more from irving police, what they're saying about this. >> and do we have sound of it? >> do we have sound? >> okay. apparently -- >> on scene. it was felt alcohol was a contributing factor in the accident. so mr. price brent was asked to perform some field sobriety tests. after he performed the test along with the observations and conversations that they had with him, he was placed under arrest for driving while intoxicated. >> so obviously like they said, they're going to charge him with intoxicated man slaught ir. this is a second-degree felony. it carries a sentence of 2 to 20 years in prison. this will be his second involvement in alcohol and driving incident. back in 2007 he was charged and when he started, players and
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teammates had to drive him. >> it's so sad. cowboys are scheduled to play today. any word if they're playing. >> they got news of this incident yesterday when they arrived, actually when they were getting on the plane to travel to cincinnati. they play the ben balls at 1:00. the team says they're going to continue as scheduled. they're not going to speak to the media about the incident or the death. there was a statement that was released by jerry jones. he said he was deeply saddened by the news. there was also a statement released on behalf of brent's. brent was released by his agent. you see it here. i am devastated and filled with grief. filled with grief for the loss of my close friend and teammate jerry brown. i'mal grief-stricken for his family, friends, all who were blessed enough to have known him. i will live with this tragic loss every day for the rest of my life. my prayers are with his family, our teammates and friends at
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this time. >> do you think this will hurt the image, the friend/family image? >> i don't think it will hurt him at all. obviously this is the second tragic incident in one week, but these are incidences happening off the field. i think it hurts the game obviously if it happens within it, but since these are separate incidences that happened away from the gail, no, i don't think it's hurt the fan-friendly image oomz. >> so sad all around. itting makes you wonder if they'll mention it at the beginning of the cowboys game today. >> yeah, sure. i'm sure they'll mention it. i want to go to afghanistan where an american doctor has been rescued. dr. joseph was kidnapped by taliban insurgents on wednesday but locals say he was abducted by smugglers not the taliban. he was released after a ransom. two men were arrested.
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and in london, the hospital where a nurse committed suicide after taking a prank call about the duchess of cambridge has issued an angry statement. it read this in part, the immediate consequence of these premeditated and ill-considered actions was the humiliation of two dedicated and caring nurses. the longer term cons quebecois has been reported around the world and is frankly tragic beyond words. that nurse is survived by her husband and two children. when you hear the term "fiscal cliff, yts you probably think of higher taxes. but it could have an impact on what you eat. the details from washington just ahead. ♪
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we're more than 78,000 people looking out for more than 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare. with odor free aspercreme. powerful medicine relieves pain fast, with no odor. so all you notice is relief. aspercreme. welcome back. well, most of us know by know the so-called fiscal cliff is looming and if lawmakers in washington don't come up with a deal our taxes will go up and dramatic spending cuts will affect agencies across the board and that includes the food and drug administration in charge of keeping what we eat safe. our emily schmidt explains what
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that means. >> there are two agencies responsible for food safety. under sequestration, the job's the same with less funding to make it happen. preparing for the holidays and paul and tress ya bennett's house is a reminder of something else around the corner, a fiscal cliff deadline that's personal here. >> i just can't imagine funding being cut at this point. it would be tragic. >> teresa is worried mandatory cuts would mean. >> closely was in the hospital for two weeks, luke, for three. >> she got listeria from food she ate while pregnant. it affected 48 million people a year. the fda and the food safety and inspection service are charged with inspecting the food supply. an 8.2% budget cut combines.
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there's no word exactly what cuts would mean to inspector staffing. >> both fda and usda are already stretched pretty thin when it comes to the inspection and food safety work they do. they need increased resources and not fewer. >> agencies always say they're stretched. >> dean chancy is with free dork works, an agency that promotes smaller government. >> arguing about it is a really irresponsible scare tactic especially when you realize these aren't real cuts. they're anticipated reductions from spending. >> to cut the work it's going to significantly impact them today and tomorrow. >> tressa bennett and her family are healthy and food safety advocates. >> and we all have to eat. >> and she says nobody should have to fear what they eat.
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a company said they were 414 last quarter, the highest level in at least two years. most of the recalls came from food-borne illness. >> emily schmidt in washington. thank you. tempers in michigan have reached a boiling point. they say it's a power play by the republican-led legislature. michigan governor says he will sign the desk when it hits his desk. cnn's poppy harlow is in michigan with the detail. >> reporter: michigan is the birthplace of the united auto workers, but the future of unions in this state is in question at this hour, the fate over labor unions in michigan is vocal and visual. thousands of protesters stormed the state capitol. the measures were introduced and passed in a single day.
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rushed through democrats, argue, calling it a subversion of the ledge layive process. >> it terrifies me that they're trying to pass this through so quickly with no discussion from the other side, no understanding of what's important in it. >> the measures would make it illegal for unions and employers to mandate employees join a union or pay any money to the union. i spoke to michigan's republican governor rick schneider. >> i don't view it as anti-union at all. >> they tell me it's anti-worker, saying it gives workers less of a voice. what do you say to that? >> that's backward. this is about being pro worker. again, giving workers the choice, the freedom to choose, that's fundamental. >> so his legislation is anti-worker. it's going to end up being a devastating blow to the middle class here. >> the three bills impact both public and private sector workers from teachers to auto workers. opponents fear they weaken
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unions and limit workers' right, benefits, and wages. >> if you pay me less money, if i have to work for minimum wage, i can't go spend that money. >> it's going to hurt the economy, it ooh going hurt the state, it's going hurt the citizens. this is absolutely not what's right for the workers. >> but supportering including governor s snyder says it improved. >> reporter: opponents will spend the week in michigan trying to convince them to vote down the bill. the vote could come as early as tuesday. poppy harlow, cnn, lansing, michigan. coming up power grab in egypt touched off an angry protest. he's trying to quell the violence but rescinding most of his decree, but is it working. ] truth is, dayquil doesn't work on runny noses.
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20 minutes past the hour. welcome back. good morning to you. a beautiful picture of the washington capitol. thanks for starting your morning with us here on cnn. morsi grabs sweeping powers. opposition leaders call his move a farce.
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reza sayah is in cairo with more. >> morsi can certainly argue he made concession to the opposition, but the opposition rejecting the argument. one opposition figure calling the president's movie a joke. let's give you some background and explain what the president did on saturday. there are two red-button issues that really outraged the opposition and really sparked the protest that we've seen in egypt over the past two and a half weeks. one was the set of controversial decrees he announced last month that gave him additional powers, made him immune from the judiciary until a parliament was formed. and then you had the draft constitution. the opposition said this constitution was drafted by a panel that squeezed out the liberal voices, the moderate voices. the opposition demanded the president to annul and cancel the decrees and the constitution or at least postpone the nationwide vote on the constitution. on saturday night, the president
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agreed to annul the decrease. here's the announcement made after a lenty meeting at the presidency. >> translator: the president has decided to cancel the constitution declaration as of today but does not take force retroactively. >> on thor is fast, it seems like a secession to it. however, it's not absolute. he says it's not retroactive to november 22nd and any decisions he made while the decreases still stand, that improved the approval of the draft constitution that they don't like. also say that the nationwide draft of the constitution will go into effect as scheduled and that's why many have rejected the president's moving calling for mow more protests in the coming days.
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thanks so much. i want go now to south africa. former leader nelson mandela is in the hospital undergoing testing. they say the 94-year-old is doing well and the current president says there's no cause for alarm. he's considering a national father figure, won a nobel prize for his long fight of a partied in south africa. he came to mark the 25th anniversary of the founding of hamas, a group he has led in exile since 2004. the recent killing of the hamas military leader triggered eight days of cross-border attacks with rockets with israel. one of the strongest typhoons to hit the philippines in decades has killed at least 543 people and that number is expected to climb. the philippine president has declared a national relief calamity.
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welcome back. thanks so much for starting your sunday morning with us. great to see you and thanks to our forces watching on american forces network. i'm susan hendricks filling in for randi kaye. it's half past the hour. egypt is detaining a well known jihadist. the fbi wants to know what role he played in the deaths of four americans that night in libya. here now is susan candiotti. >> susan, good morning. investigators have had this man on the radar for some time and now he's being callinged a possible suspect in the benghazi attack. mohammed abu ahmed was arrested a couple of weeks ago and remains in custody while the investigation goes on. u.s. authorities believe he may have been involved in the
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september 11th terrorist hit that killed chris stevens and three other americans according to a u.s. official. the fbi which is conducting the investigation hasn't had access to abu ahmed. he's known as a radical jihadist, 45 years old, master's degree in shari'a lie. he's known to be working with another group. officials say he has denied any connection to the attack on the u.s. consulate or being affiliated with al qaeda. he's also believed to be connected to a heavily armed terror cell that was raided in october when five people were arrested. sources say they're looking at several people in the attack. the fbi has been covering a lot of territory, but they're still facing roadblocks we do know that the fbi had hoped to
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question a tunisian suspect but after finally getting him face to face, al harzi refused to speak. that's just one suspect. abu ahmed is another. we don't know what he may have played in all of this. susan? >> all right. susan candiotti, appreciate that report. we're shifting gears to sports we're getting a second nfl tragedy. dallas cowboys linebacker jerry brown has been killed in car accident. he was driven in a car driven by his team nate and friend josh brent. after hitting a curb their car traveled nearly 900 feet. he has been arrested. he could face a sentence of 2 to 20 years. >> after since six round 206s blows, marquez won.
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he lost to pacquiao before. mitt romney and his wife were ringside and they wished him luck. more than 300 soldiers are back from afghanistan, just in time for the holidays. this was the scene of ft. s t stewart in savannah, georgia. they're members of the greatest generation and they're dying at a staggering rate, nearly a thousand a day, and with them their first-hand accounts of world war ii are being lost to history. in the first of two parts we meet one of those vets, mortgage witzmann. this is his account of pearl harbor and the surrender to japan. >> 1941 a date that will live in infamy.
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>> i actually enlisted in january of 1943. i would have brn drafted anyway, but i was anxious to get after the people who started that whole war after pearl harbor. so i found mooits on board a troop ship in december of 1943 on its way to south hampton, england. my name is mort waitzman. i was actually designed to a communications intercept place where we intercepted german radio to help break down the german enigma code. >> inengland, general dwight d. eisenhower and his commanders chart the -- >> as d-day approached, our job, our mission was to board ship and be prepared for d-day whenever it actually took place,
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and we soon found it it was supposed to be june 5th but the weather was bad and the general made it june 6. it was at the beaches in normandy at about 5:00 or 6:00 in the morning, our job was to move out fast. enemy fire was very intense and had very, very heavy casualties at the beach. 7 or 8,000 of our group was killed or wunlded at that beach. there was a smell -- the smell of exploding gun powder and shortly afterward the smell of people, bodies being torn apart. the smell of human flesh. it was an experience that any of us who experienced this, it was
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very difficult to keep from having recall. it was very difficult. those of us who survived are very thankful obviously. i know stories of comrade whosz war was over that first day they were so badly injured or loss of limb or something like that, and their war was over. i try not to think too much about this all the time. you have to go on with life. our thought was then to move on to our primary on zwrektives beyond the beach. more deeply into france and norman normandy. i was assigned to the general. we went to paris. it was a very warm welcome to the americans that they saw. the french were delighted. they threw flowers and kisses and so on.
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after the liberation of paris, our mission was to move rapidly eastward where general patton and his tank was moved rapidly and we followed him and the liberation of belgium, luxembou luxembourg, and into holland. in december of 1944 we were getting close to the time of the battle of the bulge. we then got back to our artillery forces and support groups and we proceeded to attack and cross into germany. >> and our thanks to mor mort waitzman for sharing this story. coming up, the venezuelan president was just elected this year. so why he is already announcing who he wants to replace him? details ahead. but first a look in new york this morning. a beautiful shot there. good morning to you, early birds. thanks so much for starting your day with us here at cnn.
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italy's prime minister silvio berlusconi says he will run again as his nation's leader and he says it's bedemand. he wrote on facebook, i am besieged by my people that are requesting that i get back in the battlefield leading the people of freedom, pdl party. it ended an 18-year stretch as prime minister with shall we say a colorful reputation. now to south america where as we've been telling you venezuela an hugo chavez made
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news late saturday announcing that his cancer has come back. it has returned. in his speech he repeatedly kissed a cross and broke out in song. he even name add man who would take over. could this be the end of a chavez era in venezuela. joining us now is our nadia bilchik. great to talk to you. so does this mean he's really afraid? what does this mean that now he's naming a successor? >> well, now we know he has to have very serious surgery. it's cancer in the pelvic area. he hesam been specific as to exactly where. we know there are mag lig nanlt tumors that have been removed. he says if something were to happen to incapacitate me,
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nicolas maduro would replace me. he's the vice president, and a friend. >> it sounds like he's saying it out loud. why cuba for the surgery? >> that's interesting. he was deciding between a hospital in brazil. he chose cuba. is it for the privacy of being there or the oncologists, but we do know that is his hospital of choice and it's not unusual for a president to go outside of his country. for example, the former president of paraguay was ill, he went to brazil, for privacy and probably the best oncologists he knows. >> and, nadia, he's been critical. do most people feel that way? >> very divided between the va vistas and the opposition, but what we know is he's very trit
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trollicly anti-capitalism and if for the u.s., it's capitalism. he's been very anti-american in that but the country itself is divided. now, will maduro be the same? remains to be seen. he was the ambassador for the united nations. he lived in america for many, many years. does that alter his sensibility? >> do you think that may make him a bit more liberal so to speak in terms of relations? >> one does wonder. and, again, when the end of the chavez era ends, be it now or lat late,er, will things remain the same or bechanged remains to be seen. >> do you think there's be a sense of fear that he said that, that something they happen to him, that the cancer is back in full force? >> it's interesting you say that. he seems to be very emotional. he was crying talking about his
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cancer. and during his election he said, i have been kurd. you saw him out there in full force making long speeches. since virtually october we haven't seen him. so how ill he is, we don't know. you said it earlier. you said he's obviously very scared and with this kind of cancer and surgery, you don't know, but the best oncologists, again, one of those stories we'll be following very closely. >> nadia, always great to talk to you. >> and i'll be seeing you later. >> yes, you will. it is official. the pope, yes, the pope has joined twitter. i'm going to tell you when he will start tweeting and where you can find the pope. e 'em eve. i earn 1% cash back everywhere, every time. 2% on groceries. 3% on gas. automatically. no hoops to jump through. that's 1% back on... [ toy robot sounds ] 2% on pumpkin pie. and apple. 3% back on 4 trips to the airport. it's as easy as... -[ man ] 1... -[ woman ] 2... [ woman ] 3.
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time now to get ready for the week ahead. we're going to show you what's going on. monday, coveted nobel prize awarded. i promise i practiced this earlier. also it is a busy day for fedex. there it is. the busiest day to get those packages out for the holidays. and we look to tuesday. clinton, hillary clinton will head to morocco. that's bag day. three days of talks with government on how to end bloodshed in syria. more than 40 thousand syrians have died in the 21-month conflict as you know. on wednesday go on twitter to catch the pope's first tweet from his personal account. we're going to answer questions about faith. there you go. you can actually follow the pope on twitter. in less than a week he's managed to get 600,000 followers. very popular guy. friday, time's person of the year. that's a big day. you may remember the protester was chosen.
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and on saturday, there we go, a potentially pivotal moment for the nation. indication the latest on it right here on cnn. there you have it. thrn mooing south african leader nelson man doula is president. jacob zuma assures there's no cause for alarm but people are certainly wired about his health. we're joined from south africa. great to talk with you. what do we know in terms of nelson mandela's health? we're learning that he's going three extensive testing, is that right? the president treat mrs. mandela's health as a closely guarded secret and they ee
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basically responsible for communicating this information to us. they're saying he has been admitted at a hospital. they're not even telling us which hospital it is. we're standing outside the number one military hospital where he usually is treated when he comes here. as you say, yesterday they said he's undergoing tests. they say this is consistent with a man his age. he's 94 years old. basically saying there is no cause for alarm. but today the president himself visiting mr. mandela. people will read a lot into that. also the statement that came on after that visit. president zuma saying he's in good care and comfortable. so there are more questions than answers here in south africa at the moment, susan. >> yeah. at this tiemt we don't know the full details. as you said, 94 years old.
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women who already give so much while on active duty keep on giving when they come home. people like curtis butler. the once homeless veteran is paying it forward by helping dozens of georgia power customers here in atlanta. our affiliate of wxia tells us how. take a look. >> reporter: he's at it again. for the second day in a weerks curtis butler delivers stress relief to those struggling with their bills. here he encounters a woman whose
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electricity has been off for a week. >> god bless. merry christmas. god blesses us. why can't we bless others. >> reporter: curtis butler is not a rich maim. he came home from iran suffering from post stress. he spent some time living in his car until his adjustments brought him to a home in atlanta to his apartment. >> being thankful for what i have. if you can put a smile on somebody's face, that's major blessing. >> reporter: there was tears when he dropped $2,000 to pay the bills of strangers. michael guice was one of them. >> i was in awe of what happened. that's when i witnessed how well god works through men. >> reporter: he also repaid kianna's bill. there was a little left for her
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son. >> it was like i hit the lottery. thank you, jesus. thank you god. >> reporter: curtis butler came us to wanting to tell his story in hoping of bring more attention to the plight of veterans. >> i did that the way god wanted me to do. >> reporter: once homeless himself, curtis now feels right at home in the arms of generosity. >> i love that. that was jerry karnes of cnn affilia affiliate wxia. joining us now, curtis butler. >> good morning, susan. >> how does it feel, people saying i feel like i hit the lottery, i have faith. >> it's a good feeling. my family blessed me when i was on hard luck and once i left el paso, texas, the v.a. hospital, the veterans group i meet with
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on wednesday helped me out and david scott's office. they did a tremendous job. they're the ones who apologized to me and i'm great 68 for that. >> what made you decide i do want to give back but i'm paying power bills. you know these days with people in a recession, with the u.s. in a recession, people down and out. and as we heard, you're not a rich man. how do you come up with this money to pay it forward? >> well, you know, i have some savings. my fiancee, she helps me save, and she kind of keeps me on track. i just went to pay my light bill. i kind of hustled her. i said, excu i overheard a couple having problems paying their bill and i said are you having trouble paying your bill and they said yes. i paid it for them and said merry christmas. you for a while lived in your car and you say people helped you along the way. yes. once i left el paso, texas, i had a friend, a high school
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buddy of mine, sergeant first class allison anderson, she told me that one of her soldiers said to have him come to atlanta and they will assist him and help him out and i'm grateful to both of them also. >> and you're also helping by writing this book, post-traumatic stress disorder, ptsd, my story. please listen. how has that affected you and made you the man you are today. not only suffering from it but helping others? >> it's like counseling for me, a counseling session for me. it's not just for the military. it's also for our civilian counterparts, the husbands, the wives, the kids. and also, you know, big businesses. they don't have to be scared when a soldier has ptsd and they say, oh, we can't hire you because of the meds that you take. and then i look at it. you know, with ptsd, if we can go down that range in a war zone and fight for your freedom and then we come back home and you say, we can't hire you or, you
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know, stuff that you was doing in the military, you have to go to school for that, there should be a way that they can go ahead and transfer, like if you're ahmedic or if you're a cook or mechanic, transfer those skills into civilianian life instead of having a person go back to school again because now it's like they're starting over again. ite reese redundant. >> well said. i'm looking forward to reading your book. what's the main message you want to get across? you can survive and live a happy healthy life with ptsd? >> yes. but the main kicker is prayer and you have to have that person who knows your weak spots. and when they see you in your time of need, they're there to pick you up. and that's what i have in my fiancee and my church and my family and friends. >> we saw that with you literally paying it forward and paying people's power bill. it really is an honor to meet you. i know quickly you want to wish somebody a happy birthday. >> yes. higher living christian church in hampton, georgia, i